For many not-for-profit organisations impact stories are essential for showing the world (and reminding themselves), of the amazing work they do.
Yet, for some reason, be it lack of time, confidence, enthusiasm – the stories they want rarely appear. We often meet with these leaders and get asked ‘Where do I find the stories?’ ‘Can I tell this story?’ ‘How do I get the stories flowing?’ There’s no one simple solution, but there are a few tips to get you started thinking in ‘story’.
Moya, Story Chief here at Only Human Stories, has listed 6 tips for storytelling for not for profits.
Stop working and have lunch. No, not at your desk (Yes, really!) At a table. With others. Bring a shared plate and a story. Invite people from different divisions or sectors. Call it, a story feast.
Identify places/times where you already gather naturally e.g. team meetings, community meetings, sessions with clients, inductions, community events and create a space for stories. For example, you might move that (mind numbing) reading of past minutes to later in the meeting and open with a story from someone instead.
Always include a first person story in newsletters or other communications. Choose from a range of your stakeholders: a volunteer, staff member or donor. Rather than ask the person to write it themselves, ask them to tell it to you and re-tell it in their own words.
Invite a client, staff member or volunteer to your next board meeting and start with a story that will explain what it’s like at the coal face.
Gather images from projects and use them as triggers for end of project de-briefs. What did we do well? When did we feel disheartened?
Ask staff to bring something from home that represents their strongest value and tell a story about it. You will be amazed how this affirms your organisations own value set.
Before you go, try one of our favourite team engagement ideas, download The Sweet Spot. It’s free. It’s meaningful and it will bring your people closer.